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What is Education for Sustainable Development

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) aims to empower all learners to take informed decisions and responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society, for present and future generations, while respecting cultural diversity. It is about lifelong learning, and is an integral part of quality education. ESD is for all people; children, youth and adults. It achieves its purpose by promoting “learning to transform oneself and society”.


Dimensions of ESD


Learning content: Integrating critical issues for sustainable development into the curriculum, such as climate change, biodiversity, water, human rights and social justice.


Pedagogy: Designing teaching and learning in an interactive, learner-centred way that enables exploratory, action-oriented and transformative learning.


Learning environments: Rethinking learning environments to inspire learners to act for sustainability.


Learning outcomes: Promoting skills required to think about the needs of present and future generations, like critical thinking, understanding complex systems, imagining future scenarios, and making decisions in a participatory and collaborative way.


Societal transformation:  Empowering learners of any age, in any education setting, to transform themselves and the society they live in.